Zeromkt - London's First Vegan, Zero Waste Market | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer


At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to attend and photograph London’s first vegan, zero waste market: the ZeroMkt, held at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel, in Kensington, London. You might know that I personally am all for supporting things such as animal rights, being as eco friendly as possible (reduce, reuse, recycle springs to mind!), and being vegan, but I usually keep my opinions relatively unheard of. However, the ZeroMkt was such an amazing collection of likeminded people, and it’s really encouraged me to be a bit more open about the things that are so important to me!

The ZeroMkt was organised by a few people, but notably the lovely Abi Penny, who I had initially met through her sister Katie. Earlier in the year I photographed a charity ball for Katie to raise money for Alzheimers Research, along with supporting her in running the London Marathon for her grandmother. It would seem that both sisters have their minds set on changing the world for the better, because the ZeroMkt was an amazing achievement!

I got in touch with Abi to find out a bit more about what her plans for the market were, so this is a little bit of a different blog post in that it’s kind of an interview!

Why did you organise the market?

We organised Zero Mkt London to protect and preserve this beautiful planet and all of the beings on it. It was an opportunity for environmentally-minded people to join forces, learn from each other, and rise together. We’re in the midst of a climate crisis, but right now is a pivotal point in history and by changing what we buy we can change the planet’s course. What an empowering thought!


What were you key drives to setting up the market?

We had three main drives when we were thinking of setting up the market.

Animals: Over 56 billion land animals, and trillions of fish, die every year to end up on our plates. These animals want to live and they deserve a life without suffering and violence. Calves are separated from their mums so we can drink their milk; fish suffocate to death so we can eat their flesh; male chicks are gassed within hours of being born as they’re ‘waste products’ of the egg industry. And, as if animals don’t have it tough enough, we’ve then added plastic to the mix! Over 90% of all birds and fish are believed to have plastic particles in their stomach and close to 700 species of marine life face extinction because of plastic pollution.

Earth: eating animals emits more greenhouse gases than all other transport combined, and vast amounts of land (and the biodiversity that comes with it) are being wiped down so we can grow feed for farmed animals. On top of that, we chuck unwanted clothes away - turning a blind eye to where they travel to next - failing to realise that these products will sit in landfill for years to come, releasing toxic gases and contaminating our groundwater. 

Fellow humans: if we grew food for humans, rather than farmed animals, we’d be able to feed a much larger percentage of the population. With one in ten people worldwide suffering from chronic undernourishment that simply doesn’t sit right. Large-scale factory farms are often placed nearby to communities of colour, who then breathe in toxic emissions and develop serious health problems. We also have the added issue of today’s throwaway fashion culture, where we’ve created a race to the bottom and now outsource 97% of clothing manufacturing to developing countries whose workforce work in poor, unsafe, unhygienic conditions just so we can look good for a day.

What was Zero Mkt London all about?

Zero Mkt London was London’s first vegan, zero waste market! All profits went go to Animal Equality - a leading animal protection organisation. It took place in the beautiful palm tree filled Conservatory (inside the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington) and it involved zero animal products, zero single-use plastics and zero waste. Everything was edible, reusable, recyclable or compostable; there was even a ‘Thrifty Tiffin’ loan scheme in place, where guests could hire stainless steel containers to carry their meals. Recognising that many traders travelled by car to the venue, we also organised for trees to be planted afterwards, as part of a carbon offsetting mission! 

Our line-up featured vegan friendly, zero waste, independent businesses selling wallets, make-up, eco essentials, original art, Fairtrade toys and gifts, biodegradable glitter, upcycled bags, and recycled jewellery, alongside plant-based burgers, mylks, yoghurts, brownies, curries, hot dogs, and shawarma pita sandwiches. There was something for everyone! We showed 360° virtual reality films and also ran free educational workshops and talks, including sessions on animal agriculture, zero waste skincare, Effective Altruism, and foraging! We searched far and wide to find independent businesses who were offering eco-friendly, compassionate, ethical goods and were so delighted by the final line-up – there was something for everyone.


How did the day go?

Everyone was in such high spirits on the day. We were astounded and so humbled by the support that we received, with over 750 people coming along! The stallholders were a hit, with some even having to restock half way through the day, and it was such a privilege to be in a room full of so many conscious consumers. We had so many Insta stories and tags on social afterwards that we could barely keep up!

Everyone was raving about the venue too – it’s not very often that you stumble upon a palm tree in the centre of London! – and people adored the plastic sculpture made from recycled ocean plastic (kindly loaned to us by Sky Ocean Rescue). We were also giving away free ‘deadstock’ fabric from Contrado and one guest turned hers into utensil holders – it’s really incredible to see such creativity and talent in the movement.


Where can we find out more?

We’re considering arranging another event in future, though don’t have anything officially planned just yet. Keep an eye out on our social media pages for updates!

You can find the ZeroMkt on: Instagram, Facebook (page) and Facebook (event) and Twitter.

Without further ado, here are the photos I took during the day. The amazing suppliers at the event were:

Animal Equality | Friends of the Earth | Mylkman | Black Milq | La Crémerie | Dark Matters | Pomodoro E Basilico | Beiroot | Eden.Living | Rupert’s Street | Tipple on Tap | Greener Habits Co | Plastic Free Party Bags | Boodi | ZAO Makeup | Zessoo | Weaving Hope | Scavenger | Eco Glitter Fun | Sky Ocean Rescue | Qitiji

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